3rd Thursday Middle East Action Alert: Tell Congress to Increase Funding for Medical Needs in Palestine
Years of donor funding cuts, followed by the COVID pandemic have devastated the Palestinian healthcare system, and the May bombardment of Gaza has only made the situation there more dire. Immediate action is needed to address this crisis.
In both Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, under-resourced hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of the populations they serve. In Gaza, hospitals already overburdened by the COVID crisis must now also address the needs of the many people injured in the recent attacks.
The destruction of the only COVID-19 testing center in Gaza coupled with the ongoing blockade, leaves Gaza at particular risk. Medical centers and hospitals are low on funds, medicine, and medical supplies, as well as the fuel and electricity necessary to provide care, and desperately need assistance.
Patients in need of care not available in Gaza are also being blocked from leaving Gaza. The World Health Organization has called for access to patients and free passage for those who need medical treatment. And we ask that you now do the same.
In addition to obstacles confronted in Gaza, Palestinians in the West Bank, continue to face restrictions on access to medical care and COVID-19 vaccines . This is particularly the case in Area C of the West Bank.
And while humanitarian aid funding that was previously cut by the Trump administration has been restored by the Biden Administration, hospitals which have been functioning with reduced funding for several years continue to face significant challenges. And renewed funding, which is being given at 2016 levels, do not meet the current needs in Palestine.
As Congress allocates funds for next year, let them know that they must do more for Palestine by increasing humanitarian assistance, pushing for an end to the Gaza blockade, and demanding equality in access to medical care.